Diocese to Close Assisted Living Facility by Summer

Statement from Bishop William F. Medley

April 8, 2019

“On March 28, 2019, the Diocese of Owensboro announced the upcoming closure of the Bishop Soenneker Home located in Knottsville, Kentucky, after months of studying the viability of the assisted living facility. We realize that this decision has had a rippling effect in the Bishop Soenneker Home extended community and we respect the passion and acknowledge the pain from this community regarding the closing. We know the Bishop Soenneker Home is an integral part of the Knottsville area; however, the plan to close the facility by June 30 is still in place.

The question that we continue to hear is, ‘why?’  As said before, this decision wasn’t made hastily or based on financial reasons. The reason continues to be our belief that in the long run, the residents at the Bishop Soenneker Home will benefit tremendously from the resources available at larger-scale personal care facilities. This may not be the answer you are seeking however, it is the honest answer.

There is speculation that the Home is being closed so the parish can build a new parish hall. It is our understanding that a parish hall has been in the works for some time now, with one of the options that it be built between the Home and St. William Church. Could this plan now change with the closing of the Bishop Soenneker Home? Perhaps, but that becomes a parish decision as the land belongs to them.

There is a team of dedicated people working diligently to ensure the transition for each resident is as smooth as possible. We are pleased to learn that many families have expressed interest in moving their family members to Fern Terrace with several residents planning to move this week.  Other personal care facilities have reached out to the Bishop Soenneker Home to assist with finding new homes for the residents. We are grateful for those who are doing their best to ensure these men and women find a comfortable place to live.

The diocese continues to work with employees, providing paid time off to seek new employment plus a severance package.

We urge the Bishop Soenneker Home and Knottsville communities to make an effort to create a peaceful, supportive environment for the residents as they transition to their new homes.”

March 28, 2019

The Diocese of Owensboro announces the upcoming closure of Bishop Soenneker Home, an assisted living facility located in Knottsville, Kentucky. The diocese plans to have all current residents relocated by June 30, 2019.

This decision was made by Bishop William F. Medley after a committee spent months studying the viability of the facility, as well as the marketplace for existing personal care facilities. The committee worked with outside consultants and ultimately the decision was made to close the facility.

“For several years, we considered the direction to take Bishop Soenneker Home, especially in light of the fact this personal care facility is the only one of its kind that is run by our diocese” said Bishop Medley, “and it was a difficult decision to make. Most providers in this business oversee a large network of personal care and nursing home facilities.  We determined that in the long run, the residents would be well served under the care and auspices of existing providers.”

The Knottsville Home – Home for Senior Citizens opened in 1968 under the second bishop of the diocese, Most Reverend Henry J. Soenneker. Then in 1988, one year after Bishop Soenneker passed away, it was renamed Bishop Soenneker Home under the diocese’s third bishop, Most Reverend John J. McRaith.

The closing of the home will involve relocating 50 residents; however, the diocese is working with Fern Terrace, an assisted living and nursing care facility in Owensboro, to determine how many of the home’s residents they can accept. Other options are being explored as well.  “Our primary concern is a safe transition for every single resident.  We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Fern Terrace to find suitable, local options for the residents at Bishop Soenneker Home,” said Bishop Medley.

Bishop Soenneker Home currently employs 29 dedicated staff members, who have been notified of the upcoming closure. Each employee will receive a severance package as their position becomes no longer necessary. They are also allowed paid time off to seek new employment.

“The staff at Bishop Soenneker Home has always gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care,” said Bishop Medley. He went on to say, “We owe a debt of gratitude to the men and women who worked tirelessly over the years, creating a ‘home away from home’ environment for the residents, and we wish them the very best in their future plans.”